Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Top 5 Myths About Car Insurance

Myth #1: The color of my car affects my insurance rate. For example, red cars cost more money to insure than white cars.

Truth: The color of your car does not affect your rate. The factors that can affect it are your driving record, vehicle's make/model/year/body type/engine size, and credit history.

Myth #2: If I lend my car to a friend and he or she gets in an accident, his or her insurance will pay for the damages.

Truth: Your car is your responsibility. However, your friend's insurance could act as excess if the damages exceed your policy's limit. Also, the accident will go on your record so there is a chance your premium could increase as a result.

Myth #3: Males under the age of 25 pay more for auto insurance.

Truth: It is true that males under 25 pay more than females under the age of 25. However, teenagers and seniors tend to pay more for car insurance because those groups statistically get into more accidents than other age groups.

Myth #4: Even without comprehensive coverage, I'm still covered for theft, windstorms, hail and deer accidents.

Truth: Some drivers believe that if they only purchase collision coverage, which covers damage to your car resulting from driving accidents, that they will also be covered for incidents involving vandalism, hail, animal accidents and fires. The truth is, you need to purchase both collision and comprehensive coverage in order to fully protect your vehicle from all of these situations.

Myth #5: If I am a safe driver and have never been in a car accident, I do not need car insurance.

Truth: Some drivers are fortunate enough to avoid accidents altogether. However, car insurance is the best protection you can have in the event of an auto accident, especially if the accident is not your fault. In most states, you are also legally required to have some form of auto insurance or other proof of financial responsibility, and failing to do so can carry strict penalties.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Three Auto Insurance Secrets

Want to learn something new about auto insurance? Something that can save you a lot of money or get a claim paid? Forget the usual tips. Check out these secrets.

1. Demand the legal policy minimums if you have no assets. Do you really need a lot of liability coverage if you have no money in the bank? Insurance companies will tell you that you do because you can be sued regardless. It's possible. I can't promise you that you won't be sued and end up paying a chunk of your paycheck to someone for life.

However, honest insurance salesmen admit that people without assets are rarely sued. Lawyers work on a commission in these cases, and won't take a case where there is no money to be collected. In fact, having a bigger liability policy can be an invitation to sue, and it won't protect you from personal liability, because they always sue for more than the policy limit anyhow.

If you have no assets to protect, why buy auto insurance? Because it is a legal requirement. In that case why not just buy the minimum coverage required? But be careful. My own insurance guy lied for years, claiming I had just that, when in fact I was paying for "company-recommended minimums." You might have to push the point, and may even have to sign something saying you understand how risky it is to be "under-insured."

2. Claim diminished value. If you have a collision policy, your insurance company will pay for the repairs after an accident. However, is the financial damage really fixed? Not necessarily. A car that has been in an accident and had the body fixed may look the same, but it won't sell for the same price. Would you pay the same for a car that has been in an accident?

A car that has been in an accident might be worth $2,000 less than a similar un-damaged car. This is called "diminished value," and may be covered by your policy. However, diminished value is often not paid unless you push the point. Get a car dealer to do an estimate of the diminished value if necessary, and present this to the insurance company. You pay for insurance to have your losses covered, and they aren't covered if you aren't paid for this.

3. Lower your premiums by removing kids from the policy. You may have already discovered that you pay a lot for insurance as long as you have driving-age children at home. Even if they are off at school, if their legal residence is your house, you pay more.

However, there is a little-known exception to this rule. If your children are at a college that's more than 100 miles away, you can have them taken off the insurance policy. This can dramatically reduce your premiums. The catch? They are excluded drivers, so you can't let them drive the car when they come home to visit.

These are just a few examples of the auto insurance secrets that insurance companies probably don't want you to know.

About The Author
Copyright Steve Gillman. You'll find 11 more ways to save money on auto insurance secrets in "Money saving Secrets," a bonus in the "You Aren't Supposed To Know - A Book Of Secrets" package at:

Thursday, January 18, 2007

6 Tips For Saving Gas

In the past months we have seen the price of gasoline soar higher than ever before, and this can be hard on people who have a budget that is tight. Even though gas prices have come down a slight bit, you still will want to do everything you possibly can to save on the money you have to pay out for gas. There are a variety of ways that you can save gas, and save money.

Tip#1 - Start Carpooling

Carpooling is a great idea for fellow students and fellow employees both. If you can find people that are going to the same place you are you can save gas by riding together. It may be a good idea to trade off on who is driving from week to week so no one person gets stuck having to drive all the time. If you have to take your children to school or other functions you can also work on trading off with your friends and neighbors to take them there.

Tip#2 - Public Transportation

If it is possible you can take public transportation to work instead of driving your car. Not only will this save you money on gas, but you will also be able to relax and not worry about having to drive through all that rush hour traffic. You may even be able to fit in a quick nap on your way to work or on your way home.

Tip#3 - Price Shop

Often it may be so convenient to buy your gas at the small gas station just up the road, but to save some money on gas you may want to check the prices at other gas stations that are nearby as well. Even if the difference is only a few cents, after putting hundreds of gallons of gas in you vehicle each year, those few cents are going to add up to quite a sum of money.

Tip#4 - Get Moving

You can save some money on gas if you start walking to where you are going, or you can ride a bike as well. You will not have to worry about paying to park your car, and the exercise will be great for you body. If you are walking or biking you will not have to worry about those huge traffic jams either.

Tip#5 - Take Care of Your Car

It is always important to take care of your car so it gets the best gas mileage possible. Also be sure to plan where you are going before you go so you will not have to backtrack and waste gas. If you can, you should use your air conditioning as little as possible because using it takes more gas. Roll down your windows and you will use less gas.

Tip#6 - Check your Tires

It is important that you check the air pressure in your tires as often as possible. If your tires are too low, or the pressure in them is unequal it can make your car burn more gas. You should also be careful how you drive. If you take off from every red light very fast you are going to burn more fuel, so it is best to take off a little slower.

These are a few tips that can help the money conscious person to save money on gas. Even as gas prices drop, these tips can still help you to save more money. Conservation is important, so take advantage of these tips, save money, and save gas.

About The Author
Jackson Porter is a staff writer at and is an occasional contributor to several other websites, including

Friday, November 03, 2006

Fuel Injection Services

Fuel injection services are growing in popularity for the following reasons in the order of motive.

1) Increases service center's profit
2) It's an easy sell with today’s gas prices
3) Offsets manufacturers' maintenance reductions
4) Poor gas quality
5) Poor adherence to vehicle maintenance

Notice that "It's required" did not make the list. That's because fuel injection services are not required the majority of the time.

However, injector services are at times beneficial, even necessary. See the following frequently asked question and answers…

What do they do?

Depending on the product, injection services clean naturally forming carbon deposits from the fuel injectors and fuel rails—some will even clean the fuel tank, and valve carbon deposits.

Do they work?

In short, yes. Provided it’s a premium product (such as BG), and the service is performed correctly. Fuel injection services can do amazing things. They can improve fuel efficiency, increase horse power, and repair some performance concerns, although these benefits are rare.

Whether or not fuel injection services will do all the above "every time" for your car is another story.

I have even seen fuel injection services quiet horrendous carbon knocks--a knocking noise from the engine due to excessive carbon build-up coming in contact with internal engine components.

Are they worth it?

Maybe. It really depends on the condition of the vehicle. If the service achieves any of the advertised claims, it may be worth it. In truth, most cars don’t need it. The consistent use of quality fuel, and proper vehicle maintenance should be all that is necessary to keep a car running properly.

However, consistent use of cheap gas and poor adherence to an auto maintenance schedule, as well as certain driving styles can significantly increase the accumulation of carbon deposits. Thus the possibility of poor fuel efficiency, decreased horsepower, and performance issues increases--all of which could be helped by injector maintenance.

The other factor to consider is the expense. How much fuel savings justifies the cost of the fuel injection service, and how long is the pay off. BG claims that their product will pay for itself in a year's time. However, remember that the condition of the vehicle is a big variable! If the car doesn't need it, there's no benefit.

How often should it be done?

It depends on the product, but generally between 15,000 to 30,000-miles.

Are they necessary?
It depends: See the discussion under Are they worth it?

Can a fuel injection service do any damage to my engine or car?
Not if done correctly. Done incorrectly, anything goes. A technician could conceivably hydro-lock your engine, or blow a hole in the piston—although both scenarios are rare.

If anything does go wrong, there is usually an underlying problem, which gets exacerbated by the fuel injector auto maintenance.

Why doesn’t my manufacturer recommend fuel injector cleaning auto maintenance?
No manufacturer recommends fuel injector cleaning auto maintenance under normal operating conditions. From a manufacturer’s viewpoint: take care of your car right (i.e., as the manufacturer dictates) and you’ll be fine.

However, depending on the problem, some manufacturers will recommend fuel injector cleaning auto maintenance as the cure—especially carbon knock. With the wide variety of fuel qualities available, manufacturers are reconsidering fuel injector cleaning auto maintenance.

How much does fuel injector cleaning auto maintenance cost?
Prices vary depending on the service center and the actual procedure performed, and product used. The procedure you want should clean the entire fuel system including the tank and should not cost more than $150.

Also, make sure the service is actually performed as fuel injector maintenance is a common scam across the industry.

Lastly, fuel injection maintenance is often presented in such a way as if it is the magical cure for all your car's quirks--it not!

When in doubt, don't do it.

About The Author
Theodore P. Olson (Ted) holds extensive certifications from Mercedes-Benz, Toyota, GM, and ASE. He is the author of eight books and numerous articles on the automotive service industry.

Making Sense of

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Legacy Of John Delorean

John Delorean is probably most remembered as the creator of the time traveling car in the ‘Back to the Future’ movies. Many will also recall that his gull winged car failed miserably on the open market and as a result he turned to illegal and shady dealings to try and save his company.

Lost in the glitter and drama of such a legacy, his important contribution to the world of sports cars is often overlooked. Without Delorean’s influence, sports car design and production would most likely have taken a different course.

In 1964, Delorean practically single handedly started the muscle car movement when he put a massive V8 engine into a Pontiac Tempest and produced the GTO.

The GTO became the most loved of the muscle cars and was a big seller for Pontiac.

Because of his great success with the GTO, he was rewarded with rapid advancement through the ranks of automobile executives. Eventually however, he decided to leave it all behind and break out on his own.

He took his ideas to Northern Ireland where he set up shop and hoped he could compete with the big three auto makers in Detroit. The Delorean Motor Company was the result and it produced the infamous DMC-12. This was his famous gull wing door car. It’s doors flipped up stead of opening out, the car was futuristic in appearance with its brushed stainless steel body.

The car never achieved the success that Delorean had dreamed of. In fact, only 9000 ever made it onto the road. However, its memory will always live on thanks to the ‘Back to the Future’ films. Although not a success in and of itself, it inspired many new designs and refinements later adopted by other car manufacturers.

Delorean was an outstanding business success not only in the automotive world, but also with hotel investing and NFL franchising. Delorean’s fall from grace was aired publicly and shocking to many. He was accused of financial misconduct and cocaine trafficking. His empire was soon decimated and he filed for bankruptcy.

It wasn’t the end of Delorean however. In 1999, he announced he would be producing a new affordable sports car made of plastic. Even with all his faults, he still drew much interests based on his previous important contributions to the sports car industry. Unfortunately Delorean passed on in 2004 before work was completed on his new vision.

About The Author
Jackson Porter is a staff writer at http://www.automobileenthusiast.comand is an occasional contributor to several other websites, including

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Interior Damage

There are some things that don't happen often, but when they do, it is hard to think of ways around them. We are going to talk about some of these problems in this article. Hopefully they won't happen to you, but if they do, here's how you solve them:

Rubber and Vinyl

There is a lot of rubber and vinyl in our cars. Just about every area has one of these types of surfaces. Both rubber and vinyl are extremely susceptible to sun-provoked deterioration and UV damage. Evidence of this is dry, brittle, fading, cracking and peeling surfaces. So keep them conditioned and use dash covers, and sun shields as often as you can.

High quality reflective sun shields not only protect the dash and fabrics from direct sun bleaching and damage, but lower the temperature of a closed car up to 50 degrees. When the temperatures can easily reach 120 to 150 degrees, this can make a huge difference in the longevity of your interior rubber and vinyl areas.


Sometimes no matter what you do, the scratch happens. Maybe it was the dog (or cat), maybe the kids, maybe it was you, but its there now.

Getting a scratch out of vinyl is a bit of a process, but most folks can handle it. First we need a good hair dryer, something that kicks out a good deal of heat, without putting direct heat on the vinyl.

Heat up the surface around the scratch real good, then use a gloved hand to gently press the scratch area, pushing enough to rub the area smooth again.

If the scratch is deep, then use a filler, such as a wax source that is the same color as your vinyl. Crayons, believe it or not, work well. Heat the area up, rub in the wax filler, then (as before) use a gloved hand to rub the area smooth.

Polish the area with a good vinyl cleaner and inspect.

If the dash is cracking or very brittle, you can put on fitted molded dash covers, which basically replace the entire dash with a new one.

How to get rid of musty smell from the air conditioner

If you experience that unpleasant musty smell from the vents when the air conditioner is turned on, you can try one of the odor treatments you can buy in your local auto accessories store. They kill bacteria and remove mildew smells. Simply spray into outside air intake vent (check directions on your can).

Clogged air conditioner drain tube and accumulation of leaves and other debris under the cowl cover also may cause damp mildew smell. Ask the mechanic to check it when you do your next oil change.

Rust stains

You don't see these often, but they do happen. Rubber cargo liners save you from most of the sources, but if you got surprised and have the rust stain now, here is what you do.

To remove those stains, get a fresh lemon or two from the grocery store. Roll the lemon then slice it lengthwise. Squeegee the juice onto the rust spot and sprinkle it with salt. Keep the area damp with the lemon juice for several hours. The next day use a damp cloth and blot to remove.

Salt Stains

If you have gone through a winter in the salt belt, you'll find salt embedded in your carpeting. Good floor mats are a life saver here, but none the less, let's get the carpet clean now, and get the mats after.

"Salt" stains are usually caused by calcium chloride and magnesium chloride, not sodium chloride, according to the Carpet and Rug Institute. Rock salt has small amounts of both of these salts imbedded in it. The problem comes with solubility. Patience and lots of rinse cycles are the key and sometimes calcium carbonate forms and this is fairly insoluble. Try to vacuum most of the dry residue off before using cool to warm water and a very small amount of carpet shampoo. Once the cleaning solution has been applied, allow time for it to dissolve the deposit. Blot, do not scrub, the spot. Sodium chloride is more soluble at lower temps than at higher ones. Then rinse with clear lukewarm water, blotting up the excess moisture and follow with another water rinse and blot dry. This should work. If not, try a cleaning mixture of 1/2 white vinegar to 1/2 lukewarm water, allow to stand 15 minutes and rinse with clear water.

Tree Sap

The hardest thing to get off a car's finish is tree sap. I suggest that you avoid it altogether by avoiding parking underneath trees, and using a good car cover.

Since you already have it however, here's what you do.

To remove the tree sap from your vehicle's surface, you can use finger nail polish remover on a cotton ball. After the sap is removed, make a paste of water and baking soda to wash the affected area, then apply wax.

Another method to remove the sap is to use mineral sprits (it will also remove tar). Use a soft, terry towel, or wash cloth dampened with mineral sprits. After removal, wash the car and apply wax to the affected area.

Tree sap can also be removed by using a water-soluble paint brush cleaner. A common household solution is bacon grease or lard. Just rub it on, and off comes the sap. To get tree sap off of your hands, simply rub mayonnaise on them and wash it off. To remove tree sap and other substances, you can use common solvents like lighter fluid, rubbing alcohol, WD-40 or even Skin-So-Soft bath oil.

The way to use those materials is to let them do their work of dissolving (in the case of alcohol) or softening (in the case of oils), enough to rub off the remaining sap. If you use the oil, wash the car afterwards to remove it.

You can also use commercial wax and grease-removing products available at auto supply stores. Be sure to wash and dry the car before applying the wax and grease remover. Then dampen a clean cloth with the solvent and rub the affected area. It may require several attempts if the sap is very thick or extremely hard. The surface may appear hazy after the solvent evaporates, but a good wax application will eliminate the haze and complete the job.

Removing tree sap from a car's finish is a bit more difficult than tar, as hardened sap can scratch your paint. I've found that by hand-rubbing the sap spots with mineral spirits or denatured alcohol, I'm able to easily remove the sap without damaging the finish. Mineral spirits and denatured alcohol acts as a solvent to break up and dissolve the sap.

If there is a large amount of sap on the car, or if the sap has been left on the finish for an extended period of time, it can be a lot of work to remove. For these cases, you can try hitting the affected areas with a light-duty buffing compound to remove the hardened surface on the sap spots. Then you can use mineral spirits or a similar solvent to remove it. The light duty buffing compound softens the sap so the solvent can do its job. The goal is to use the least pressure possible to reduce the risk of scratching the paint. After removing heavy sap, always buff the treated areas with a good polish to clean up any marks created during hand-rubbing with solvent. The treated area must also be re-waxed.

Insect Honeydew

Parking under large trees can result in unwanted deposits of a sticky substance on the car. Most people assume this is tree sap, but the real culprit is far more likely to be insect honeydew, excreted by aphids or scale insects that infest the leaves and branches.

Composed of sugars and other waste products that pass undigested through the insects' bodies, honeydew becomes harder to remove the longer it's left on the car.

If you remove the honeydew and park under the tree again, you'll just end up with more sticky stuff dripping down on your vehicle. You may be able to dislodge and reduce the numbers of offending aphids in the tree by blasting overhanging branches with a forceful stream of water from a hose. Unfortunately, a hard stream of water does not help much if the source of honeydew is scale insects.

Spraying with insecticides is rarely needed to protect the health of the tree.

About The Author
Elena Maria

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Sunday, October 15, 2006

Grease and Sand

Tracked in grease and sand are the number one reason for damaged interior carpeting, and why floor mats (any kind really) are required to protect your car's resale value.

I say "any kind" and that is true, for the most part. Starting with sand, and dirt, the direct pressure and grinding motion of the feet while sitting in the car or getting in and out, grinds the sand and dirt into the fibers of the carpet, flaying away stain protection sealants and separating the weaves so your carpet begins to have that "fuzzy" look.

Anything that can keep this direct and focuses grinding from happening to your car's carpet, will save its beauty and extend the carpet's life.

By the time most auto carpets begin to show signs of wear, the internal fiber damage is often much greater.

It is very important to vacuum your passage areas regularly, using a powerful vacuum that can pull the sand out of the carpet, through the dense weave. Most car manufactures understand the tremendous wear car carpeting is subjected too, so the weaves of the carpets used are much more dense than most household carpeting.

The only real protection your car carpeting has against sand and dirt however is floor mats, or regular (weekly) vacuuming.

Grease and oils on the other hand are a different story. Vacuuming won't help you with grease (in fact vigorous vacuuming can spread the grease around), and it comes in the car from all sources.

· Asphalt and road tar
· Parking lot drippings
· Fast food spills
· and many more

Once grease is in the fibers, it bonds with dirt and sand, matting the fibers together and basically turning your own carpet into sand paper. The damage from that point is exponential.

There are several trick remedies on the market for removing grease from carpet fibers (without bleaching out the color of your carpeting at the same time). Nothing works better than a deep carpet clean buy a profession steam (or dry) cleaner.

Some of the lesser answers include :

· Pouring cornstarch onto the spot. Rub in lightly. Let sit for two or three hours, then vacuum.

· Put WD-40 on a white cloth (it won't damage the carpet coloring), apply to the grease or oil area gentaly so that you do not spread the stain, then dab with a clean cloth to pick the released oil and grease from the carpet. Clean the area with a carpet spot cleaner product afterwards.

Getting floor mats now will save you hours of time later and keep your carpet safe from both of these resale-value thieves.

We have quality, custom sized vinyl floor mats to fit over 4000 vehicles. These are not the cheap thin plastic versions that curl and warp on the first hot day, or send your heals slipping around while you are trying to drive. These are quality, slip resistant custom shaped heavy vinyl mats that last years and protect your carpet from all kinds of life hazards.

We also have custom designer floor mats, Rubber Floor Mats and Carpet Floor mats with vinyl binding (See the side menu for other options).

All of our floor mats are the highest quality available, insuring long life, protection of

About The Author
Article Written by Car Accessories (